The prayers of August have been answered. In line with Celtics tradition, multiple players will battle in Boston’s training camp for a final roster spot. Tacko Fall will be among them.
Boston announced Javonte Green and Fall officially signed with them on Thursday after their Summer League stint. They also added Tremont Waters and Max Strus as their pair of permitted two-way deals.
The Celtics comfortably sit under the luxury tax by over $24 million, allowing them to sign up to 20 players and carry their salaries as dead money for whoever doesn’t stick. Green’s one-year, rookie minimum deal is partially guaranteed, per Keith Smith.
Adam Himmelsbach reported Fall’s deal is his original Exhibit 10 contract. He’ll receive the rookie minimum if he makes the team, or a bonus if he signs with Maine for 60 days. Fall’s salary is fully non-guaranteed until the Celtics determine his roster status — two-way, one-year rookie minimum or G-League. He’d have a right to go elsewhere if it’s the latter.
Per source, Tacko Fall’s deal is still an Exhibit 10 contract, just as he originally agreed to shortly after the draft.— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) July 25, 2019
Last year the Celtics opted to keep their open roster spot. Greg Monroe returned to the team after dropping from the Raptors. Jonathan Gibson joined later for the playoff run. This topic becomes the biggest debate each August before often not meaning much during the year. With this contest, there’ll be a clear fan favorite.
The Celtics opened the spot by waiving Guerschon Yabusele earlier in the summer. He joined Demetrius Jackson on the Celtics’ dead money, now totaling $1.13 million. Boston has 16 players under contract, 18 including the two-way players and eight of whom are NBA rookies.
Fall, a 7’6” University of Central Florida product, born in Senegal should not need an introduction unless you quit following basketball when the Celtics’ playoff run ended. He averaged 7.2 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game in roughly 12 minutes every night in Las Vegas.
He flashed great hands, caught lobs into the paint and dwarfed tall human beings. His mobility — for his size — impressed. He also failed to score anywhere but under the basket, and is not slick enough to get out on shooters like Brook Lopez. His intrigue and potential could warrant a roster spot that probably will not matter regardless — unless the Celtics have an eye on a trade or big man acquisition later. Fall is 23 years old.
Green arrives in Boston as part of a long line — Jeff, Gerald off the top of my head. He’s 26 and last played in Germany. His 6’5”, 220 frame positions him on the wing. It also leaves him without much prospect of involvement with the Celtics now or in the near future. If he continues to play at the rate by which he averaged 14.4 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.8 seals at it could find him NBA work. For now, it’s a paycheck.
Strus committed to a two-way deal in June from off the radar at DePaul. His name didn’t explode nationally, but he ranked among one of the best combinations of shooting and rebounding the Big East had last year — a quality basketball conference. He ranked third in the conference with 20.1 points per game, shot 36% from three and hauled in 5.9 rebounds per game. The Celtics scored a quality prospect who could contribute if injuries strike.
The Celtics drafted Waters 51st overall in this past draft. He hails from Connecticut, loves Frank Pepe pizza and Kyrie Irving. He’ll fill minutes Irving once did when the Celtics don’t have Kemba Walker or Marcus Smart available. At LSU he created steals, made plays and scored in isolation at only 5’11”.
Waters and Strus will earn short of $100,000, plus a percentage of the rookie minimum for time in the NBA. They’re limited to 45 days with the Celtics and cannot play in the playoffs.